Newswise — March 5, 2020, San Francisco, CA — For her research project “Eliminate to Protect,” Dorota Skowronska-Krawczyk, PhD from the University of California, San Diego was awarded the 2020 Shaffer Prize for Innovative Glaucoma Research. The Shaffer Prize, presented annually by Glaucoma Research Foundation during their annual Glaucoma 360 Gala, recognizes a researcher whose project best exemplifies the pursuit of innovative ideas in the quest to better understand and cure glaucoma.
Dr. Skowronska-Krawczyk’s research project investigated early removal of senescent cells in the retina to prevent major retinal ganglion cell death upon elevated intraocular pressure. David J. Calkins, PhD presented the 2020 Shaffer Prize to Dr. Skowronska-Krawczyk at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco where the Gala took place. Dr. Calkins is Vice-Chairman and Director for Research for the Vanderbilt Eye Institute and the Denis M. O’Day Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. In addition, he Chairs both the Glaucoma Research Foundation Catalyst for a Cure Scientific Advisory Board and the Research Committee.
Dr. Skowronska-Krawczyk’s 2018 research grant, titled “Eliminate to Protect,” was funded by the R. David Sudarsky Charitable Testamentary Trust through the Glaucoma Research Foundation. The $40,000 grant allowed Dr. Skowronska-Krawczyk’s laboratory to investigate the hypothesis that removal of early senescent retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) impacts the progression of RGC loss in a model of glaucoma, and to determine whether the removal of early senescent RGCs prevents vision loss. Dr. Skowronska-Krawczyk and her laboratory were able to accomplish both goals, showing that early removal of senescent cells in their model prevents major RGC cell death upon elevated intraocular pressure.
“The research from Dr. Skowronska-Krawczyk’s team at University of California, San Diego is important because it demonstrated a potential new approach to saving the retinal ganglion cells and preserving vision in glaucoma,” said Thomas M. Brunner, President and CEO, Glaucoma Research Foundation. “Glaucoma Research Foundation is pleased to recognize Dr. Skowronska-Krawczyk and her team of innovative researchers with the 2020 Shaffer Prize. Research innovation like this is essential to bringing us closer to a cure for glaucoma.”
The Shaffer Prize for Innovative Glaucoma Research was established in 2007 to honor the late Robert N. Shaffer, MD, a co-founder of Glaucoma Research Foundation.
About Glaucoma Research Foundation
Founded in San Francisco in 1978, Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) is America’s oldest and most experienced institution dedicated solely to its mission: to cure glaucoma and restore vision through innovative research. GRF has a proven track record of ground-breaking, results-oriented research and produces definitive educational materials used by eye care professionals across the country. The Glaucoma Research Foundation website, www.glaucoma.org, provides valuable information about glaucoma to more than 4 million visitors annually.